GTA-themed Coke Ad Scores Big During Super Bowl

February 5, 2007 -
A video game-themed Coca-Cola ad scored well among early reviews of commercials that ran during last night's Super Bowl.

Of the spot, which mimics the free-ranging, urban landscape of the controversial Grand Theft Auto series, the Rocky Mountain News wrote:
Coca-Cola scored with a couple of ads, including one that used images from the violent video game Grand Theft Auto but turned it around. Our hero walks through town doing small good deeds that set off a chain reaction of loving kindness.

The (ad execs) agreed that one harked back to the days when '70s singers wanted to buy the world a Coke.

The Detroit News added:
Grand Theft Auto is a huge part of the pop culture machine that has been lauded by fans and criticized by parent groups for its violence and sex. Coke takes the cool factor of the game and puts it in reverse by making it user friendly for all.

From the New York Times:
Coca-Cola borrowed pages from its own playbook with two whimsical spots for Coca-Cola Classic, “Happiness Factory” and “Video Game,” that were as sweet as they were upbeat. The commercials, by Wieden & Kennedy, provided a welcome counterpoint to the martial tone of the evening.

The Sacramento Bee, however, termed the ad "puzzling":
Coca-Cola, trying to attract the youths, turned a "Grand Theft Auto"-like video game into an "Up With People" spot. The mind reels.

Interestingly enough, AdBowl, which polls viewers on how well they like the Super Bowl commercials, reports that the Coke GTA spot only made the Top 10 among 17-and-unders.

Comments

and how succesful has he been?

and also this ad never needed ANY critic to be mentioned at all.

he can try, but lets say I am not too woried about the danger of Thompson

The best part of the ad is when the dude pulls a fire extinguisher out of his pocket/inventory/hammerspace and just as quickly disposes of it

This commercial was genius, too bad 50% of the audience probably won't understand it.

@ Yoshiko and Twib

Yoshiko, all I'm saying is that if anyone is going to crazy over this ad and call it a travesty, it will be Jack Thompson. No one else will do it.

Twib, he is potentially more than annoying. He is trying to destroy Take-Two Interactive and has filed hudreds of million of dollars suits against them. He's not sitting on the sidelines idly at all. Jack Thompson is in it. The difference is a fanboy sits on the sidelines and watches. He is in this and is trying to destroy all kinds of games and wants them erased off the planet. That's the difference.

And Daniel, you're the only one bringing his name up.

[...] If you were one of the millions who watched the Super Bowl yesterday, then you probably saw the GTA-inspired Coca-Cola ad starring a look alike Tommy Vercetti. According to GamePolitics, the ad did really well, particularly amongst the under-17 crowd. [...]

Sorry, Mary Whitehouse, not Barbara Woodhouse, always get those two mixed up for some reason....

Heh, fun ad, but got to admit a little concern when a coutry-wide sporting event actually has questionaires on the adverts. I suppose it's because I live in a country where our main sporting event makes you wait 45 minutes before you can leave the room ;)

I thought the ad was fun because it was one of the few things from the commercial zone that has actually seen the comedic in GTA rather than trying to take it all far too seriously. It was like in the early 80's when Barbara Woodhouse tried to ban Tom and Jerry for being too violent, the point completely sailed over her head.

Like IQpierce said, this ad is at least a year old- That doesn't mean it's not an awesome though. I love it every time I watch it.

My favourites were Budweiser's "Rock, Paper, Scissor", "Hitch hiker" and Snicker's "Mechanic" ads. There some other gems in there, but I loved these three the best.

Im sorry, but I hate the comercial. Anything that shows that much hippy love is ... well upseting. Maybe its because I can see the next wave of parents buying little jonney GTA because it looked so good in the coke commercial.

Im sure alot of people (over 40) didnt even understand it. It probably just looked to them like an animated guy doing good deeds. Its only funny if you know what Grand Theft Auto is, and how it does the opposite of what you'd do in the game.

I gotta give some credit to Coke, that even though they play against the violence in the game, they at least used it for an ad - that takes balls in this hysterical environment. I think it helps to make GTA (and all violent video games) mainstream too, by allowing people to laugh about it.

If people can laugh about GTA, that suggests to me that the censors are losing (popular opinion). Ill bet Jack Thompson hated that ad.

I saw this ad somewhere online at least one year ago. Since then I've seen it in movie theaters at least twice - I know I saw it a little more than a month ago.

So this ad has definitely been around for a while. I'm glad they finally gave it the prominence it deserves, it's extremely clever and well-made... little things like the SWAT team in the helicopter in the end, and the fact that there's a very accurate "game UI" element at the beginning, shows how much attention they paid to the game source - it was a nice homage to AND criticism of Grand Theft Auto.

(The UI element I mentioned: in GTA, when you move to a new area of the city, the name of that area pops up in the bottom-left. This commercial features that at the beginning, and even mimicks the distinctive font used for this in GTA 3. I liked that detail.)

"...reports that the Coke GTA spot only made the Top 10 among 17-and-under"

I can see that, I had to explain the concept of the ad to my older relatives. It was still pretty clever.

Nothing is as funny as last year's "magic fridge" commercial.

Yeah, the ad's run before, but for a coke ad, its not a bad one either, and originally it didn't get much air time outside movie theaters, so I guess you can't fault coke for using it again for the Superbowl. It was funny and its still cool.

ehh this like most of the superbowl commercials this year kinda sucked. There were a couple of good ones early on but the second half only the Nationwide/Kfed commercial was memorable. The Blockbuster commercial with the mouse was probably the best of the night.

Also, during the pre-game, a bit of Second Life machinima was used as a promo for the sitcom "Two and a Half Men." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ_ZeBQvtDQ&eurl=

@ J-Guy

You're right, it's been seen before, but like I said up until now it only ran in movie theaters at least a few weeks prior. You might be thinking of the other ad that shows that magical world inside the vending machine when a quarter drops into it (which by itself is preposterous. A bottle of Coke costs more than a quarter these days.) :p

If anyone can remember, this ad HAS aired before. I believe it might have been 1-2 years ago I saw this ad on TV, and it was more than once.

2 of the coke commercials advertised it as a mind altering substance. IT SHOULD BE BANNED!

@Daniel
No, he is just the biggest and most annoying supporter Daniel.

that is like bringing up a rabid fanboy when talking about a show.

this add is great and everybody i saw the game with loved the add, though we all agreed that the bud light "rock paper Scissers" add was the best of the night

I love this ad. It just makes me smile no matter what else may be happening in the world. Also, the detail in the ad is great - even when character drift into the backdrop, they continue doing things even though bigger things steal your focus away from them.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

@ Yoshiko and hayabusa75

Okay, I admit it can be done, but it's very hard. Almost everytime someone talks about WWII, Hitler's name comes up and almost everytime a person wants to create game legislation, Jack Thompson's name comes up. I also doubt that Japan and America ever would've fought if it hadn't been for Hitler starting the war in the first place. However, that is a weak connection.

hayabusa75, that's right I'm back fighting against Jack Thompson. He is the one causing all the anti-game legislation.

Sure you can, Dan, you can talk about Pearl Harbour and Hiroshima.

I'd like to know if Jack Thompson watched the commercial and, if he did, did he watch the rest of the Superbowl? He is going to be furious over this. I think Jack Thompson is going to appear of Gamepolitics.com in the next few days whining and complaining about that commercial. He doesn't like Tony Cippriatti very much I know that. I hope he makes and idiot out of himself because of this. That would be awesome.

Goddammit, Daniel. Can you not last a single topic without trying to bring up Jack Thompson?

That ad was lame and offensive to crazy homeless dudes and street performers.

@ agro and Yoshiko

Yoshiko, there is no way to talk about game controversy without talking about Jack Thompson. Talking about game controversy without Jack Thompson is like talking about World War II without mentioning Hitler. It's impossible. If this website were about WWII, it would be impossible not to mention Hitler constantly wouldn't it? You can't separate one from the other. They're inextricably linked.

agro, the ad is not lame and offensive at all. It's just a commercial and it means nothing else. They didn't mean to offend anybody. It's only a commercial and there's nothing wrong with Grand Theft Auto animation. It's a perfectly good thing. There is nothing immoral about it.

@Daniel

Look, I dislike Jack Thompson as much as the next gamer. (I own one of those "I hate Jack Thompson" shirts.) However, there really is no need to bring him up. Really. : )

Back on topic, I loved this ad! We had a big discussion in my public relations/advertisement class about whether it would appeal more to those adverse to video games or to gamers. I think Coke did a great job of bringing both sides in and making us all laugh.

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TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
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quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
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quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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